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ESPN Hits Home Run with Desktop and Mobile Site Makeover

By Greenfield/Belser
April 3, 2015
ESPN Hits Home Run with Desktop and Mobile Site Makeover
This week, ESPN launched a brand new website at espn.go.com. Unlike what other website's were doing on April 1st (read: Amazon and Google Maps April Fool's Day pranks), ESPN's new, improved site was no joke. The new website was launched in honor of ESPN.com's 20th anniversary.

The new site takes ESPN’s web presence to the next level—maybe up the next couple of levels. As the most visited sports site, ESPN is constantly the most up-to-date source for scores, stats and streaming live games. Also, if you're following along with March Madness (of course you are), they are one of the leading provider of bracket pools and tournaments.

The new site features a left rail where you can personalize your favorite teams and closely track their games and scores. The streamlined desktop design still holds a plethora of information, but you can tell they have thought about user experience a little more this time around. The right rail features real-time social media posts (Twitter and Instagram) that immediately publish to the homepage. The core and middle section of the page features top stories from ESPN and its associated publications (Grantland, FiveThirtyEight), rich with fully populated thumbnail images.

Now, while the new website shines, there is a more immediate need to why this overhaul took place. Think..web trends. You guessed it—the ESPN mobile website needed some real attention, and that's where the makeover stemmed from. According to an article in USA today, about 60% of ESPN's traffic is mobile— not surprising. When you want to check the score of your favorite home team, you don't always have time (or want to) jump on the nearest desktop. ESPN's mobile audience is a huge source of traffic for them, and they took action to address it.

John Kosner, ESPN’s executive vice president of digital and print, said, "In the past, we would create products thinking about your computer screen first, then kind of shrinking them down…this time around, we started thinking about the experience on your handset and expanded that up." (USA Today)

Well, of course. Sounds like someone is catching on!